retirement

Social Security benefits and same-sex marriage

The social impact
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The social impact © Chris Howey/Shutterstock.com

The social impact

Striking down DOMA was a huge step in the right direction, says Rae. Still, years later, same-sex married couples are working through exactly how Social Security applies to them as they qualify for the program's benefits.

With the high court's 2013 DOMA ruling, 114,100 additional couples became eligible for the range of safety-net programs and benefits that fall under Social Security's umbrella, says Burns. As the country ages, more will qualify each year.

Since Social Security currently serves more than 59 million Americans, "This hardly impacts the financial standing of the Social Security program," he says. "More importantly, social insurance programs like Social Security are an ultimate net gain to the economy by keeping people out of poverty, protecting against the vicissitudes of health, old age and disability."

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